Endoscopy is a medical procedure during which a doctor inserts an endoscope into the hollow body organs of the human body, in order to examine deep into the body for any tumor, polyps, or even to take biopsy samples from the hollow organ. Endoscopy is recommended when a person observes one or more symptoms like passing of blood in the stool, weight loss, chronic irregularities or other problems associated with digestive system.

Endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract. Using an endoscope, a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it, your doctor can view pictures of your digestive tract on a color TV monitor.During an upper endoscopy, an endoscope is easily passed through the mouth and throat and into the esophagus, allowing the doctor to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the small intestine. Similarly, endoscopes can be passed into the large intestine (colon) through the rectum to examine this area of the intestine. This procedure is called sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy depending on how far up the colon is examined. A special form of endoscopy called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography, or ERCP, allows pictures of the pancreas, gallbladder, and related structures to be taken. ERCP is also used for stent placement and biopsies. Endoscopic ultrasound or EUS combines upper endoscopy and ultrasound examination to obtain images and information about various parts of the digestive tract.

Endoscopy are of two types:

  1. Upper GI Endoscopy
  2. Lower GI Endoscopy

Endoscopy Preparation

Procedure for endoscopy is performed using an endoscope which is a long, thin, flexible tube with a light and also consist of a tiny video camera attached to the end. This camera transmits an image which is produced on the computer. Prior to the endoscopy procedure an intravenous pain medication will be offered to the patient undergoing endoscopy, also the blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels in the blood of the patient will be monitored during the procedure. Your doctor may spray or will ask you to gargle with the local anaesthesia, so that one cannot feel any pain during the insertion of endoscope in the upper GI tract. The patient is asked to lie on the left side and a supportive mouth piece will be placed in the mouth. In some cases oxygen support will be given through nasal canal. The whole procedure takes about 10-20 minutes.

Upper GI Endoscopy

Upper GI endoscopy is also called as oesophageal gastro duodenum endoscopy. It is a procedure that allows your doctor to view the mucosal lining of the upper portion of GIT. This includes your oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.

During the procedure your doctor will gently insert the endoscope through your mouth and then slowly and carefully move it down to the oesophagus until it reaches the stomach and finally into the duodenum. Also, in-order to examine things clearly inside upper GIT the doctor may introduce a small amount of air to flatten the mucosal lining and improve visibility. If your doctor would like to collect a sample tissue he/she will obtain one or more biopsy for the later examination. A biopsy will help distinguish between benign and cancerous tissue. Endoscopy is also used to detect helicobacter pylori. The bacteria that may lead to ulcers. Your doctor may also use endoscope to treat problems such as an actively bleeding ulcer in the oesophagus/stomach. After the procedure you will monitored in recovery room until the effects of the medication is worn-out. There may be possible sore throat/bloated feeling and you may need a family member/friend who can drive you home. A person who has undergone Endoscopy is asked to take rest for 24 hours.

Upper endoscopy is used to evaluate symptoms with persistent upper abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, bleeding, difficulty in swallowing. Endoscopy is capable of detecting various symptoms that include inflammation, infections, tumours, ulcers, and another problems that may be present.

Lower GI Endoscopy

A lower GI endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used by your doctor to inspect the rectum and colon, while it is considered a surgical procedure but it is not, instead your doctor will pass a surgical tube called an endoscope through your anus into the rectum and colon. The tube consist of tiny video camera which transmits the image on to the monitor. It also contains a small tool to collect tissue samples.

Lower endoscopy is used to inspect the entire lower half of the digestive system, in some cases the shape of the colon makes it impossible to pass the endoscope as far into the body. A doctor can ask to undergo a series of X-rays or to perform surgeries.

Difference Between Endoscopy VS Colonoscopy

The difference between endoscopy and Colonoscopy is that Endoscopy is performed on Upper GIT tract and Colonoscopy is performed on the lower GIT tract. The time taken for Endoscopy is 10-15 minutes which is quite a short period when compared to the Colonoscopy which takes around 15-30 minutes to complete.


Gastroscopy /Endoscopy is a procedure which is performed on the upper and lower GIT tract. Endoscopy is a simple and effective procedure performed by Gastroenterologist to assess various symptoms such as upper abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, polyps, difficulty swallowing and weight loss in patients.

The procedure is performed by using an endoscope which is inserted into the mouth of the patient after providing the patient with a sedative which will induce sleep in the patient during the procedure. After that a small camera is inserted through the mouth to get a proper analysis with a clear picture of the oesophagus, stomach and small intestine.

During the movement of endoscope into the GIT the camera displays images on a small video screen. This procedure allows the doctor to detect conditions like inflammation, ulcers, tumours, and early cancers. This endoscope also has a small tool attached at its tip that removes any gastric polyps if present and also stretches the bleeding lesions. The doctor can also obtain a few cells for biopsies in order to access if there are any tumours or infection in the GIT tract.


Colonoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your doctor examine the colon and rectum for problems such as ulcer, inflammation, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, examine for inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease, polyps, Ulcerative colitis and tumours.

A colonoscopy is a tube used to perform a colonoscopy. It is a thin flexible fibre optic video instrument with a thin tube like structure with a light and video camera on the end. It is inserted through the anus into the rectum and is carefully guided up to the colon, all the way to the caecum. The colonoscope can be used to enter the very end of the small bowel known as the terminal ileum.

Why Do I Need an Endoscopy?

Doctors will often recommend endoscopy to evaluate:

·         Stomach pain

·         Ulcers, gastritis, or difficulty swallowing

·         Digestive tract bleeding

·         Changes in bowel habits (chronic constipation or diarrhea)

·         Polyps or growths in the colon

In addition, your doctor may use an endoscope to take a biopsy (removal of tissue) to look for the presence of disease. Endoscopy may also be used to treat a digestive tract problem. For example, the endoscope might not only detect active bleeding from an ulcer, but devices can be passed through the endoscope that can stop the bleeding. In the colon, polyps can be removed through the scope to prevent the development of colon cancer.
Also, using ERCP, gallstones that have passed outside the gallbladder and into the bile duct can often be removed.

How Do I Prepare for Endoscopy?

Gut Preparation: Examining the upper digestive tract (upper endoscopy or ERCP) requires nothing more than fasting for 6-8 hours prior to the procedure. To examine the colon, it must be cleared of stool. Therefore, a laxative or group of laxatives is given on the day before the procedure.
Sedation: For most examinations with an endoscope, a sedative is provided. This increases the comfort of the individual undergoing the examination. The sedative, which is administered via an injection into the vein, produces relaxation and light sleep. There are usually few if any recollections of the procedure. Patients wake up within an hour, but the effects of the medicines are more prolonged, so it is not safe to drive until the next day.
General anesthesia (puts you totally asleep for a period of time) is given in only very special circumstances (in young children, and when very complex procedures are planned)

What Are the Types of Endoscopy?

Endoscopies fall into categories, based on the area of the body that they investigate. The American Cancer Society (ACS) lists the following types of endoscopies:

·         Arthroscopy is used to examine your joints. The scope is inserted through a small incision near the joint being examined.

·         Bronchoscopy is used to examine your lungs. The scope is inserted into your nose or mouth.

·         Colonoscopy is used to examine your colon. The scope is inserted through your anus.

·         Cystoscopy is used to examine your bladder. The scope is inserted through your urethra, which is the hole through which you urinate.

·         Enteroscopy is used to examine your small intestine. The scope is inserted through your mouth or anus.

·         Hysteroscopy is used for the examining the inside of your uterus. The scope is inserted through your vagina.

·         Laparoscopy is used to examine your abdominal or pelvic area. The scope is inserted through a small incision near the area that’s being examined.

·         Laryngoscopy is used to examine your voice box, or larynx. The scope is inserted through your mouth or nostril.

·         Mediastinoscopy is used to examine the area between the lungs called the “mediastinum.” The scope is inserted through an incision above your breastbone.

·         Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is used to examine your esophagus and upper intestinal tract. The scope is inserted through your mouth.

·         Ureteroscopy is used to examine your ureter. The scope is inserted through your urethra.